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BWB Finishes Strong, Casanueva Concludes Fantastic Career

The Brandeis Women’s Basketball team concluded its season this past weekend. Since the previous issue of The Hoot, the team has played six games, going 3-3. The team first went on the road, falling to Carnegie Mellon on Feb. 11 66-51, and defeated Case Western Reserve 61-58 on Feb. 13. Brandeis returned home the following weekend, dropping its game to Chicago on Feb. 18 59-49, and knocking off Washington University in St. Louis 58-57 on Senior Day. The Judges played their final home game of the season, beating Clark 81-58 on Feb. 23 before losing to New York University (NYU) 80-67 on Feb. 26. The team finished 9-15 with a 3-11 in the University Athletic Association (UAA)

 

Friday, Feb. 11: Carnegie Mellon 66 – Brandeis 51

Senior guard Camila Casanueva ’22 had 12 points and sophomore forward Christina Bacon ’24 added 11, but it wasn’t enough as Carnegie Mellon outscored the Judges 21-6 in the second quarter and cruised to a 66-51 win.

 

Brandeis trailed 14-12 following a close opening quarter. However, the Tartans opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run before junior guard Emma Reavis ’23 made a lay-up with 6:41 to go to cut the deficit to 24-14. The Tartans answered with an 8-0 run, extending their lead to 32-14. Brandeis went into the half down 35-18 and would trail by as many as 25 in the second half. 

 

In the decisive second quarter, Carnegie Mellon shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc as a team, four of which came from Carnegie’s Isha Nambisan. In contrast, Brandeis made just one field goal in the period, going 1-of-17.

 

Reavis finished the game with eight points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Forward Caitlin Gresko ’25 had five points and grabbed eight rebounds and sophomore forward Casey Perry ’24 scored four points and had six rebounds.

 

Sunday, Feb. 14: Brandeis 61 – Case Western Reserve 58

Gresko had a team-high 12 points and Reavis had a near triple-double as the Judges made some big shots down the stretch to hold off Case Western 61-58.

 

Brandeis jumped out to a 21-12 lead to end the first quarter. Case Western responded in the second quarter, outscoring the Judges 19-7, to head into the break leading 31-28. Brandeis started hot in the third quarter and led 41-35 after guard Tathiana Pierre ’23 made a lay-up with 5:15 to go in the quarter. The Spartans scored the next five points to cut the Brandeis lead to 41-40. The Judges answered with an 11-0 run and led 52-44 heading into the fourth quarter.

 

Case Western opened the final period on a 7-2 run to cut its deficit to 54-51 with 4:37 remaining in the game. Brandeis responded with its own 7-2 run, five of which came from Gresko, to give itself a 61-56 cushion with 2:16 left. Two Case Western free throws made it a three-point game when the Spartans had one final chance with 10 seconds left. The Spartans inbounded the ball, but the Judges prevented them from even attempting a shot before time expired, giving them the win.

Reavis had nine points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. Junior guard Francesca Marchese ’23 had nine points on three 3-pointers and a game-high four steals.

 

Friday, Feb. 18: U Chicago 59 – Brandeis 49

Pierre scored a career-high 14 points and center Kerry Tanke ’22 added 12 points as the Judges fell to the visiting Maroons 59-49.

 

Playing without leading scorer Camila Casanueva ’22, Brandeis had arguably its best quarter of the season to open the game, outscoring Chicago 20-12. The Judges shot 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. 

 

The second quarter was a different story as the Maroons outscored the Judges 13-2. The Judges, who struggled to find high-percentage shots against the Maroons zone defense, did not score until Reavis knocked down a jumper with under 10 seconds in the player. 

 

Brandeis responded in the third quarter, adjusting to combat the Chicago zone. Brandeis assisted on six of its seven made field goals in the quarter, and head into the fourth quarter even with Chicago at 38-38. But Chicago answered in the final period outscoring Brandeis 21-11. Brandeis shot just 31 percent in the quarter, while Chicago shot 39 percent and went 11-of-12 from the foul line. 

Sunday, Feb. 20: Brandeis 58 – Washington University 57

Reavis scored a go-ahead lay-up with 2.6 seconds to go as Brandeis overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to knock off visiting Washington University on Senior Day. 

 

Down 57-54, Pierre got fouled attempting a 3-pointer. Pierre made her first two foul shots. Pierre missed her final free throw, but Gresko grabbed the offensive rebound forcing a jump ball with 9.5 seconds remaining. The Judges, who had the possession arrow, inbounded the ball on the baseline and called timeout with six seconds left. In the ensuing play, Reavis caught the inbound on the left baseline, drove to the middle, and sank the finger-roll lay-up. Washington University had one final chance, but Jessica Brooks’ shot was wide right.

 

Reavis posted a near triple-double again, scoring a career-high 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting. She also grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and dished out nine assists. Tanke scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, for the first double-double of her career. Gresko scored 10 points, all of which came in the second half.

 

The Judges, who again were without Casanueva, defeated the Bears for the first time at home since 2007-2008. Before the game, the Judges honored their two seniors, Casanueva and Tanke.

 

Wednesday, Feb. 23: Brandeis 81 – Clark 58

Marchese scored 18 points on six made threes, both career highs, and the Judges knocked down a school-record 16 3-pointers to cruise to an 81-58 win in their home finale. 

 

After leading by as many as 17 in the first half, Brandeis saw Clark cut its lead to 47-44 with 5:58 left in the third quarter. The Judges responded with an 11-2 run to close out the quarter, capped off by a Reavis three with 26 ticks to go in the period to take a 58-46 lead. The Cougars scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to seven, but Brandeis scored the game’s next 12 points, culminated by three-consecutive 3-pointers from Marchese, Pierre and Gresko to give Brandeis a 70-51 advantage. 

 

The Judges moved the ball exceptionally well against the Clark zone, racking up 21 assists. 

Reavis had a game-high seven assists and Casanueva added five. Reavis recorded her second consecutive double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Tanke added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while Gresko scored 14.

 

Brandeis emphasized playing through the inside, moving the ball around the perimeter to set up entry feeds to the post. The Judges’ commitment to attacking the interior paid off, creating open shots on the perimeter, and forcing several key Cougars to the bench with foul trouble.

 

Entering the contest, the rebounding battle was a major focus of the team. The Judges outrebounded the Cougars 50-34 on the glass, limiting the Cougars to just eight second-chance points and igniting their transition offense.

 

Saturday, Feb. 26: NYU 80 – Brandeis 67

Casanueva scored a team-high 14 points and set multiple school 3-point records, but the Judges fell short, losing 80-67 at No. 7 NYU. 

With just five points entering the fourth quarter, Casanueva went 3-for-3 from deep to set the new records. Casanueva surpassed Jessica Chapin’s ’10 career total of 167. Additionally, Casanueva set a new single-season record for 3-pointers of 50, breaking her prior record of 47.

 

Casanueva finished her career with 1152 points, eighth all-time in program history, and an all-time best free-throw percentage of 87.1 percent. Casanueva is fourth on the career assist list with 317 and 12th in career rebounding with 507. She is one of 18 players in Brandeis history to have started more than 75 games.

 

The Judges also got 12 points from Tanke, who also played in her final career game. Marchese scored nine points, knocking three 3-pointers, while Perry scored eight points to go along with team-highs of eight rebounds and three assists.

 

Brandeis finishes the season 9-15 and 3-11 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). On Monday, Feb. 28, the UAA announced its Women’s Basketball Honors for the season. Casanueva earned Second Team All-UAA and Reavis earned Honorable Mention. 

 

Casanueva finished the season averaging 12.9 points per game on 40 percent shooting from the field. Casanueva led the UAA shooting 88 percent from the foul line and her 37 percent 3-point percentage was fifth in the UAA. Reavis averaged 10.7 points per game and led the UAA with 4.5 assists. Reavis also averaged a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. 

 

A young group, the team showed tremendous growth throughout the season, especially in the UAA, which is regarded as one of the toughest conferences in the country. 

 

Editor’s note: Francesca Marchese is a staff writer for The Brandeis Hoot and did not contribute to this article.

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